(Book review) The Hidden Side


Reviewed byAlyssa Roat, a professional writing major at Taylor University.

 


Introduction

Title: The Hidden Side

Author: Heidi Chiavaroli

Publisher: Tyndale House

Publication Date: May 2018

Format: Print book

Length: 414 pages

OVERVIEW

    During the Revolutionary War, Mercy Howard is forced to watch the British hang her fiancé Nathan Hale as a spy. Though she struggles with the idea of deception and duplicity, she agrees to become part of a Manhattan spy ring to further the cause of freedom for which Nathan gave his life. However, to her horror, she finds herself betraying those she loves most.

     Meanwhile, in the present day, Natalie Abbott struggles to keep her family together in the wake of an unspeakable act committed by a member of her family, while also pretending to have it all together as a host of a Christian radio program. Simultaneously, her teenage daughter Maelynn struggles with loss as her family and friends fall apart in the wake of tragedy. Both of them lose themselves in reading the journal of Mercy Howard, hoping to find solace and answers.

     Told from the perspectives of the three women, this book is thrilling, tender, and often heart-wrenching. The plot is gripping, capturing the reader in two stories more than two hundred years apart. There are no pat issues or simple answers. The choices the characters must make are agonizing and suspenseful. Though raw and real, the masterful writing propels the story to a bittersweet ending of great hope.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

5 stars

Suggested Audience

Due to some violence and sexual content, this book is recommended for older teens and adults.

Christian Impact

The book dives into difficult topics of truth, forgiveness, and love. It explores betrayal, guilt, and the tension of ideology versus love. It is not afraid to delve into the most painful topics facing Christians and to reveal hope in that pain.



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